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How the Supreme Court Messed Up the Census Case

The Supreme Court’s decision to block the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census was a victory for representative democracy, but the Court could have and should have taken a far stronger posture than it did.

Excerpted from The Atlantic, where it was first published.

A divided Supreme Court last week blocked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from adding an untested citizenship question to the 2020 census. The Court’s ruling is a victory for representative democracy over the Trump administration’s latest power play, which would have led to a dramatic undercount of the country’s noncitizen population, with substantial implications for federal funding and political representation. In the process of reaching the right outcome, however, the Court has rewritten history, with justices up and down the bench joining together to create an atmosphere of normalcy around a question that is anything but.
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